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Physiol Bohemoslov. 1977;26(6):499-506.

Activation of epileptic electrographic phenomena in the human EEG by nasal air flow.


The activating effect of deep oral breathing (with the nose closed) and nasal hyperventilation (with mouth closed) was examined in 62 patients with three different kinds of epileptic EEG abnormalities: unilateral localized temporal (fronto-temporal, occipito-temporal) abnormalities - group F, bilateral episodic theta-delta abnormalities - group TH, and bilaterally synchronous spike and wave abnormalities - group SW. Nasal hyperventilation was much more effective in group F and TH. Its effect was already significant 30-60 seconds after the start of deep breathing. In the group SW there were no statistically significant differences between the effects of nasal and oral hyperventilation. Unilateral nasal hyperventilation (the other nasal cavity being closed by tamponade) demonstrated a more pronounced activating effect on ipsilateral localized temporal EEG abnormalities. These effects of deep nasal breathing can hardly be explained by metabolic-vascular mechanisms, which probably are involved in the course of oral hyperventilation. On the other hand they are in agreement with animal experiments demonstrating that the mechanical stimulus of nasal air flow operates as a synchronizing impulse for certain rhinencephalic structures.

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